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#574786 - July 18th 2012 11:17 pm How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van
Reed Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: August 27th 2001 12:00 pm
Posts: 8363
Loc: Fircrest, WA
For years, I and other Dodge van owners have griped about loose vent window latches. Despite asking on several different web boards populated by very knowledgeable people, I have never found out how to tighten up the latch. In fact, I was often told that tightening the latch was impossible and I should just tape some pennies to the frame and live with it. Tonight, I discovered how to tighten the latches!

I am in the process of tinting the windows of my brother's 83 Dodge van and I had to strip the old tint off of the vent windows to put the new tint on. IN the process, I had to disassemble the vent window latches and discovered that it is actually quite easy to tighten up a loose and floppy latch.

Follow along as I give a step-by-step pictorial guide to the disassembly and reassembly of a vent latch.



Step one- Put the latch in the "open" position. The latch must be in the "open" position in order to be disassembled and reassembled.



Step two- Find the small roll pin that holds the handle on the latch assembly. Drive the pin out with a hammer and small punch. I found a nail that fit perfectly.



Here is a picture of the roll pin next to a utility knife blade for a size comparison:



Step three- Remove the handle from the assembly:



Step three-and-a-half- The handle contains the plunger, inside of which is a spring with a black rubber tip. The spring amy or may not come out with the handle. It can stay in the handle. If it comes out and get shuffled, the rubber tip goes out, not in.







Step four- Once the spring is out of the way, you can look down the center of the latch assembly and see a Phillips head screw. This is the screw that comes loose and leads to a floppy latch. Tighten the screw, reassemble, and you are done!



Step six- if, like me, you need to disassemble the latch the rest of the way to clean the window or tint it, I have included the following pictures that show, sequentially, how the rest of the latch assembly comes apart. Note the existence and orientation of the various tabs and recesses. It must go back together the right way or the latch will be upside down. Also, the roll pin won't go back in unless the latch is in the "open" position.

Wave ring comes off:





Screw unscrews and central shaft comes out:



Grommet comes off:



Outer nut comes off:



Voila! All the pieces of the latch assembly:




I Imagine this will work for most Mopars with this style of latch. Probably 60s through the 90s, but I don't know for sure.
_________________________
Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!

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#574788 - July 18th 2012 11:39 pm Re: How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van [Re: Reed]
Wizard78 Offline
Supreme Master

Registered: August 20th 2008 10:14 pm
Posts: 17143
Loc: Virginia
Very cool,Since we are talking Dodges
Does anybody know how to take out side or rear pop out windows?
_________________________
Everyday above ground is a Good Day!!!
Never Stop Vannin'


Owner & Creator of Wizard's Van-In Videos
Member of Riding High Truckers from 1982 to 1996
2nd Member of The Toopa Sinner Tribe
Member of Free Bird Vanners 1996 to Present
Member of Cape Atlantic Truckers South Jersey
Host Club of Freeze Out
Certified Nats Judge
Member of Shenandoah Valley Vans

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#574790 - July 18th 2012 11:52 pm Re: How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van [Re: Wizard78]
RamVan2500 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: February 01st 2012 8:12 pm
Posts: 239
Loc: Florida, USA
just remove the three screws that hold the latch arm, then pull the window up and slide it out.

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#574796 - July 19th 2012 12:00 am Re: How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van [Re: Reed]
SaabGuy Offline
old hand

Registered: April 12th 2012 8:32 pm
Posts: 733
Loc: Liberty, IN
Nice tutorial. I am sure a lot of people are very grateful!!
_________________________
When Chris Farley talked about living in a van down by the river, did anybody else think that wasn't such a bad idea?

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#574803 - July 19th 2012 12:08 am Re: How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van [Re: RamVan2500]
Wizard78 Offline
Supreme Master

Registered: August 20th 2008 10:14 pm
Posts: 17143
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: RamVan2500
just remove the three screws that hold the latch arm, then pull the window up and slide it out.


Cool,Thanks I'll check it out. I want to retint them and it's easier and you get a better job if you take them out.

Sorry to step on this thread but it's still Dodge windows smile
_________________________
Everyday above ground is a Good Day!!!
Never Stop Vannin'


Owner & Creator of Wizard's Van-In Videos
Member of Riding High Truckers from 1982 to 1996
2nd Member of The Toopa Sinner Tribe
Member of Free Bird Vanners 1996 to Present
Member of Cape Atlantic Truckers South Jersey
Host Club of Freeze Out
Certified Nats Judge
Member of Shenandoah Valley Vans

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#574810 - July 19th 2012 12:49 am Re: How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van [Re: Reed]
wrcsixeight Offline
veteran

Registered: April 30th 2010 8:57 pm
Posts: 1919
Loc: San Diego
Reed I am not quite sure what "Loose" means in your tutorial.

Does the latch rattle around inside the window?

Does the arm just not push hard enough against the window frame?

Does the little push button lock not pop out on it's own?

Or some combination of all three?

My only problems with those windows was they were not pushing against the frame hard enough and would whistle at highway speeds. The inelegant temporary Solution was to close the latch on a matchbook or similar.

Later on I just enlarged the hole and inserted an oval head machine screw into the arm. I bottomed out the Stainless screw, filed the head super smooth with 400 grit sandpaper and the window opens and shuts easily and tightly, no whistling at all anymore. I could unscrew the screw slightly so it pushes even harder against the frame, but have not had the need.


On my rear windows, I could not get the pins out to remove the latch from the window for tinting. I was afraid of breaking the window. I even made a mini press, and no go. I wound up cutting the roll pin with my dremel and a thin diamond coated cut off wheel and then was able to remove the latch from the window. Then I was able to hammer out the roll pin thirds.

I replaced the roll pin with stainless steel cotter pins on all rear windows. Comes in handy when I need to remove the DS rear window and carry 16 foot lumber. Great for tinting too, which I should probably redo as it is starting to bubble after 5 years.

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#574811 - July 19th 2012 12:51 am Re: How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van [Re: Reed]
86ed Offline
veteran

Registered: May 24th 2006 12:00 pm
Posts: 2247
Loc: puyallup,wa
Nice step by step Reed. should help many a folk

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#574812 - July 19th 2012 12:59 am Re: How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van [Re: Reed]
Reed Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: August 27th 2001 12:00 pm
Posts: 8363
Loc: Fircrest, WA
By loose I mean the handle would rotate without latching or unlatching and the handle didn't hold the window shut tight enough to stop leaks and whistling. Tightening up that Phillips head screw will make the window seal tighter because it moves the handle closer to the glass therefore clamping the glass closed more tightly.

I was able to drive the pins that hold the latches to the hooks bolted into the opening windows by carefully tapping them with a hammer hitting a #10 torx head driver. I got the side barn door windows and mid-ship driver's side window out of my brother's van this way to tint the windows.
_________________________
Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!

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#574813 - July 19th 2012 1:09 am Re: How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van [Re: Reed]
draggnastro Offline
pooh-bah

Registered: May 09th 2006 12:00 pm
Posts: 4460
Loc: Springfield, Illinois
nice tutorial Reed, this will be helpful when i go to tint my windows.
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2003 Grand Caravan

Member Vanatics Van Club-Spfld, IL
Member Florida Van Council
Member Central Florida Vans,-Orlando, FL




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#574817 - July 19th 2012 1:28 am Re: How to tighten up loose vent window latches on your Dodge van [Re: Reed]
Reed Offline
carpal tunnel

Registered: August 27th 2001 12:00 pm
Posts: 8363
Loc: Fircrest, WA
I was able to get all the materials to tint every window on my brother's shorty window van for $146 at Autozone. 35% for the front doors and vent windows, 5% for the midship doors and window, and 2.5% for the rear door and rear windows. BIG difference from before. I think the previous window tint was a worthless 95% tint. Now, you can see out but you CANNOT see in. Just how I like it.

Tinting windows is actually very easy. This van is the first vehicle I have tinted the windows on personally, and I doubt I will ever pay the money to have someone else tint my windows again. The most important thing is to get the windows and work area absolutely SPOTLESS. I am probably going to retint most if not all of the windows when I pull them to paint the van in the future, but for now, they are OK.

Before:


After:


Edited by Reed (July 19th 2012 1:32 am)
_________________________
Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!

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